Posted in Book Review

The Paris Project

By Donna Gephart

Book Source: Erica S Perl shared it with me

Book Status: Available October 8, 2019

I got a lotta books, so you’re gonna see more reviews than usual. I just got my Scholastics box, but this is not one of those books though.

At NerdCampMi Jr, I met Donna Gephart and Erica S Perl. Donna shared about this book and I was excited about it. Erica S Perl then mentioned it in her interview with me. I shared I was jealous she had read it already and she shared her copy with me.

But tell me though, why are girls soo into Paris, I don’t even know and I KNOW I’m going someday 😌!! Pariiiis………. Now…. On with the review!!

1. It’s about Paris.

2. It’s about a girl who’s best friend is a boy and gay. Her dad is in jail too. It is about a kid dealing with hard situations.

3. It’s about a girl who’s saving up to go to Paris and her sister is saving up to go to a college. It is about making choices.

4. It’s about compromises, helping and how small towns are the worst.. or are they?

5. Her best friend’s boy friend is her “enemy”. So it is story about relationships.

Posted in Book Review, Lil Bro's Fabulous Fridays

Kitten Kingdom Series

By Mia Bell

Book Source: received review copies of books 1 & 2

Book Status: available

This is PAW-fect! It is the firsts chapter books I read all by myself. I read the first book in the car in one day (roadtrip!).

The books are about Tabby and her brothers, Flex and Leo. They are kittens protecting their homes. One is black and that is my favorite because I have a black kitten too!

And now back to the book, they have a secret. They are the Whiskered Wonders. They are fighting against rats who dress up as dogs. And make smelly cheese that makes you fall asleep.

Some people may think these are girl books. But there is no such thing. Boys will like this series because it is knights but with kittens. It is exciting and you can’t predict what happens next.

I am still reading book 3 but I can’t wait for more Kitten Kingdoms.

Posted in Meet the authors

Jonathan Auxier

Online presence (website/social media) www.TheScop.com 

Twitter: @Jonathan Auxier 


1. When you were my age (10), did you have a book inspire or impact you? JA: I had so many! Without question, the biggest influence was Alice Through the Looking Glass, which is the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. I can’t quite explain why, but I would read Looking Glass obsessively — a chapter or two every night before bed. I did this for over 10 years! Which means I’ve literally read the book 100s of times. I still have no idea why I did that.

 2. Have you read anything recently that inspired or impacted you? (Sweep was one of my favorite books last year and I love Peter Nimble & Sophie Quire)JA: I’m always inspired by good storytelling. This week, I read My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder. It was such a wonderful book!  

3. Can you share what your usual day as an author looks like?JA: Every morning, I do the New York Times crossword puzzle. Then I write for a few hours. Then I take a walk. It’s not a bad life.  

4. Is there a newer or less know author you think kids should know about?JA: I really like this question! I’m not sure she’s “less known,” but I often urge fans of my Peter Nimble books to check out Caroline Carlson’s series, The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. They’re pirate books with magic! And they share a similar sensibility to Peter Nimble … only much funnier!  

5. What is a cool thing about being an author?JA: I get a chance to meet other authors I admire. That never gets old.  

6. Is there anything hard about being an author? I know it is not rainbows, cupcakes, pens and a pot of gold.JA: Who told you that? It’s full of rainbows, cupcakes, pens, and pots of gold!  

7. Book access and diversity in books is a big topic. As an author what do you think your role is in this topic?JA: Book access and diversity are hugely important topics … but I don’t think that they are necessarily the jobs of writers. The job of a writer is to write the best stories they can. That being said, I think that all readers (including those who write) need to work to expand their horizons and read outside of their comfort zones. I’m so grateful to the librarians, bloggers, teachers, and gatekeepers who have taken up these causes! 

8.  If you could portal into any book which would it be?JA: There’s a beautiful chapter in Wind in the Willows called “Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” It works as a standalone story (as many chapters in that book do). Whenever I’m sad, I read it. 

Posted in Book Review, Middle Grade Mondays

The curse of the werepenguin

By Allan Woodrow Illustrated by Scott Brown Book Source: purchased Book Status: available

1. This book is about a trained girl robber. THE best robber in the forest. Spoiler that is just really good fake advertising.

2. This book is about a boy who gets adopted by a 100 year old kid Baron. Yes, because that is going to work out well and doesn’t tell the reader something weird is going to happen.

3. This book is about a boy who get bitten by a 100 year old werepenguin-kid. Any guesses where he finds the werepenguin? Spoiler see point 2.

4. This book is about vampires werepenguins. Like hello, super cool idea. How did I not think about this?
5. This sets for a book 2. More werepenguin adventures!
Posted in Book Review, Lil Bro's Fabulous Fridays

Prehistoric

By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Illustrations by Julius Csotonyi

Book Source: review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity

Book Status: Available

It is about the different prehistoric periods and what was alive during each time. There were a lot more time periods than I knew!

This book is easy to read. You can read about a period at a time. It would be good for a class studying dinosaurs. It is good for a kid who likes to read about read things.

One of the coolest things is on the back cover and identifies the living things in images.

There is also a glossary of the words and the illustrations are super cool. Like you want to pet the dinosaurs.

Posted in Meet the authors

Starlight

Website: https://www.galacticadventuresofhazel.com/Instagram: https://instagram.com/galacticadventuresofhazel/

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  1. When you were my age (10), did you have a book inspire or impact you?

I used to love reading Enid Blyton’s children’s books. Her Adventure Series were pretty awesome – four kids going about solving mysteries and having outdoor fun – really got my ‘adventure’ imagination going at a young age. I loved the way she had a theme associated with each book, The River of Adventure, The Castle of Adventure, etc., so that there was a different tone, color and flavor to each adventure.

I feel that I should also mention here that while I was growing up, I hadn’t encountered many novels where a female character gets to be a main protagonist. I really wanted to see girls taking on the leadership roles in books involving adventures. And so, when I decided to write about galactic adventures, I wanted it to be about a girl. The Galactic Adventures of Hazel – Gurecoa, is the first book of the series. This story is about a 12-year old girl, Hazel, and her friends who travel to different galaxies to find out what Gurecoa really is.  This is an entertaining novel which will appeal to both girls and boys who can relate to Hazel, a people person, in many ways.  

2. Have you read anything recently that inspired or impacted you?

I just finished reading “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking. It is amazing how masterfully this genius scientist explains the complexities of the workings of the Universe with simple analogies and spatters his accounts with wit. His concepts of time and space, singularities, black holes, arrow of time are both mind boggling and inspiring. I was overwhelmed by the intricacies and the scale of the universe in terms of the parameters of space and time.  

It was indeed a great read and provided me the necessary fuel to channel my imagination in the right direction in the coming months. The more you know about science and technology, the better you will be able to do justice to a sci-fi fantasy book.

3. Can you share what your usual day as an author looks like?

My typical day would be to sit in front of my laptop and type away chapter after chapter talking about the series “The Galactic Adventures of Hazel” and be blissfully “absent” from Planet Earth for at least a few hours, except of course when I have to munch on something which painfully brings me back to Earth. Anyway. But to be able to put that kind of effort means there is also a lot of planning and thinking that goes before it.

As an author, I have this constant background process that runs in my mind, where I’ll be thinking about how to add a new character or to what world does Hazel go to next. Small things such as looking at a building or going horseback riding can trigger one’s imagination, and I would be quickly jotting notes on my phone when that happens. I guess, authors are like scientists in the department of creativity. 

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4. Is there a newer or less known author you think kids should know about?

A few years ago, I read the Septimus Heap series written by Angie Sage. It took me on adventures through a world of magic and I couldn’t help but fall in love with these remarkable characters: Septimus Heap, Jenna and Marcia Overstrand as I went through her seven books. Her use of humor takes the story to a whole new level. If anyone loves Harry Potter, they would enjoy reading this series as well. 

It is amazing how authors start with an idea and bring out a whole new world for all the readers to enjoy.

5. What is a cool thing about being an author?

Personally, being an author, I find there is never a dull moment. There so much imagination and creativity that goes into the works that it never grows stale. I can’t imagine how a little bit of writing can transform a dull lack luster day into an exciting journey of imagination and fun.

Another thing, which I frequently talk about, is how writing has taken me on a roller coaster ride. Here I am, creating a whole set of galactic adventures and worlds of the 46th century, and I can’t help myself but feel, I’m actually going on an adventure with Hazel and friends. I create a scene where Hazel has seconds to make a decision to escape from a sea monster, for example, and as I write, it’s funny that I start feeling anxious or thrilled as the story unfolds. I used to think that it is only the readers who feel these emotions but I have to say even as an author I’m not exempt from them.

6. Is there anything hard about being an author? I know it is not rainbows, cupcakes, pens and a pot of gold.

There’s a lot of commitment that goes into being an author. It’s like having your own enterprise. It’s not just writing, but like I explained there is a lot of imagination and creativity that needs to go into it. At any given point of time, say take today for example, I am not only writing my manuscript for my third book in the series, but also marketing my first book and working with my publisher on the publication of the second book. Additionally, one has to handle book signings, interviews and more importantly providing answers to amazing kids like you who are interested in knowing more about the book and my journey.

On top of that, if you are a new author you may have other obligations such as taking on a full-time job to support yourself financially. But if one loves what he/she does, I guess every experience and phase teaches authors something which ultimately leads them closer and closer to their goals.   

7. Book access and diversity in books is a big topic. As an author what do you think your role is in this topic?

That’s a great question. With the internet, I guess accessibility has become somewhat easier, as a book could be downloadable from anywhere in the world. Although my book is available as a soft cover, hard cover and ebook formats, in the coming years I hope to endeavor to make it more access friendly by way of audio books, translations, picture books to name a few.

Diversity is such a talked about term these days and the author that comes to my mind who has done a most remarkable job is Rick Riordan. His fantasy novels on Magnus Chase have such a collection of diverse characters that it is both a delight and wonder to read.

My book takes place in the 46th century where galactic travels and interactions with other alien species are a norm. It inherently speaks diversity in a futuristic, imaginary way. You see a mishmash of characters: Hazel, the main protagonist and her brother are part-Tarian, an alien race inhabiting a future Earth, their friend Lumens is from a light dimension who appears to be a sixty-year old man but there is more to be said about his age. And then there’s this AI Doorbell friend that is both annoying and nosy. With diversity in that era being as normal as checking your internet or using your cell phone in this age, the book delves more into friendships and cultivating deep and rich bonds.    

8. If you could portal into any book which would it be?

From my childhood I have been interested in Space and the Universe. I was curious as to what lay beyond our planet Earth and if there was life beyond. As a little girl I wanted to explore distant galaxies and far-off planets. Unfortunately, advanced space travel is something not yet known to our species and sadly, under these present circumstances I couldn’t be a space explorer as I had imagined.  

The Galactic Adventures of Hazel is, I could say, an inspiration and imagination of the childhood fantasies I had had of the Universe. If ever I get the superpowers to portal into a book, it would be into: The Galactic Adventures of Hazel. I would love to fly the Intergalactic Vehicle (IGV) that Hazel and her friends use and take part in the IGV tournaments, have a row with the annoying Doorbell or enjoy some nice little galactic treats at Himmelska, the famous restaurant in the Milky Way, in Locenburg, the city of Waterfalls! 

Locenburg, the city of Waterfalls

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Posted in Book Review

The Friendship Lie

By Rebecca Donnelly

Book Source: purchased

Book status: available

This is a cool book. It is about friendship and when it goes haywire. This is unique because the main character is the reason it goes haywire. Then she got stubborn and it got worse.

This is also a book about the environment. The girl’s parents are trash experts. This could be a book for a class using sustainable development goals. My mom works with those in her job.

You wouldn’t expect friendship and trash to combine but it is pretty cool.

One note from an ADHD reader. This book changes narrator and time period. Every few chapter or maybe every chapter. That made it a little hard for me follow. This could be a challenge for a student so just keep it in mind.